Saturday, December 5, 2009

Party Crashing

Three hours had passed without the smell of pepper beef and chicken lo mien wafting through The Lawyer and The Engineer HQ.  The Engineer and I assumed the worse.  We had been abandoned by Edgar, our "intern" editor, the last of our restless team of editors to quit us.

Rudderless, The Engineer and I sat around for a few days, not discussing or doing much.  Eventually I wanted coffee, so I stood up and walked to the coffee maker and set to figuring out how to make the thing work, but we were out of coffee.  "Edgar," I shouted.  "Pop down to the grocery store and get us some Costa Rican, ground..."  The Engineer shook his head at me.  I slapped my forehead.  We missed Edgar.

The monotony was broken as we were jarred by a sudden calling while The Engineer and I watched the President give a speech on one of the cable "news" networks.  We had cable, with a used DVR box, all courtesy of The Engineer who had hijacked cable from a nearby utility pole.

It was a town hall style meeting about health care, joblessness, the economy, Afghanistan, North Korea, swine flu, and global warming, which pretty much ran the gauntlet of all that is wrong in the world.  Listening to him I felt more helpless and alone at the state of things in general than I did by being left to fend for my own basic luxuries by Edgar's resignation.

"Whoa, look there," said The Engineer, pausing the program.  "Right there," he said pointing to a man in a dark suit, sunglasses, a white coil-y thing stuck in one ear, with arms like tree trunks.  "Who does that look like?"

"I don't know?  A secret service guy?"

"Yeah, he's a secret service officer, but have you ever seen him before?" asked The Engineer.  I moved closer to the television and squinted.  I did recognize the bastard.

I stood and backed away from the set pointing at it.  "That's the guy," I said, my heart racing as only it does at the sight of someone by whom you have been tazered and generally roughed up.  "The security guard at Fox News."

"Who had been employed to guard that psychotic, fart-face, dry-drunk Mormon, Glenn Beck," said The Engineer.

"And protect the dread pirate, Rupert Murdoch," I added.

"And," The Engineer said, "charged to keep secret Dick Cheney's undisclosed location in his makeshift vice-presidential office."

The Engineer and I looked at each other, the blood having drained from our already pasty faces as we entertained the same thought.  My voice cracking, I said, "And to watch over the empire of--"

"The Prince of Darkness," said The Engineer as we slumped back into our respective, pre-owned, Lazyboy recliners.

Before you could say "conspiracy theory" we were in The Cube speeding out of town; destination:  The Whitehouse.

Outside the beltway, we booked ourselves into a discount hotel that offered rooms, for a darn reasonable price, by the week or the hour.  There, amidst the exotic smells of illegal substances being inhaled and the sound of primal grunts and groans and head boards thudding against the walls on either side of our room, we formulated our plan to have an audience with someone--anyone--of importance at The Whitehouse.

A black tie event was scheduled for that evening at The Whitehouse in honor of an international dignitary.  Between the two of us, we had just enough money to rent tuxedos and a limousine.  The Engineer explained that under the guise of being diplomatic assistants from the Luxembourg embassy we could gain entrance to the event and provide a written synoptic memorandum to either the President, Joe Biden or Rahm "The Asshole" Emanuel, whoever we could get closest to the fastest, and then we would have completed our mission.  Thereafter, if we were lucky, we could hang out for a while, have a square meal, get drunk, have our photos taken with Hillary Clinton and Katherine Sebelius, and maybe show what we are made of on the dance floor with the First Lady.

"There's one missing ingredient," I said to The Engineer.  "We have to have dates.  You can't go to a black tie event without a top-shelf, classy woman hanging on your arm."

"Damn,  You're right," conceded The Engineer.  "How do we get two dates on short notice?"

The hotel manager, behind the bullet proof glass window in the lobby, looked like just the man that could help us with our dilemma.  Our good host, Abd Al-Ala, who gave the impression he had not cracked a smile in well over a decade, nor appeared in the habit of shaving on a regular basis, impatiently put down the fried chicken leg he had been gnawing on.  "What do you want?  You only get one towel per week."

"No, we don't need a towel," I said.  "We need your advise."

"How does this work for you, my friend?  Go fuck you self,"  Abd Al-Ala counseled.  

"Look, prick," I said, "we need to hire a couple of real classy women to accompany us to a very exclusive party.  I just thought you might be able to point us in the right direction."

"Ha!" he guffawed.  "I know just the women for you.  How classy are we talking here?"

"Um, well, very, very classy," said The Engineer.

"What the fuck are you two?" asked Abd Al-Ala.  "A couple of fucking Canadians?"

"Yes, that's it.  We are a couple of fucking Canadians," I said.  "Now help us out here, you greasy dick wad."

"Very well," said Abd Al-Ala.  "If you want very, very classy piece of ass, as you say, that will cost you one-thousand per evening."

"Ouch," said The Engineer.

"Per woman," added Abd Al-Ala.

"Whoa," I cringed.

"Ha, ha, ha, ha," laughed the sadistic douche bag.  "You a couple of broke ass punks from Canada, huh?"

"Look," I said.  "We don't have much money, but this is what we have to offer."  I was thinking by the seat of my pants.  "We, uh, my colleague and I, are invited to a very exclusive event, and there will be a lot of extremely important and powerful people there.  It could be a great networking opportunity for the right girls, and offer a boost up in their clientele.  This is the perfect chance for the right, entrepreneurial type go-getters."

Abd Al-Ala chewed on another piece of chicken, put it down and wiped his face and hands with a dirty napkin while eying us like we were a couple of shit heads.  A chilling smile broke across his sinister face.  "I've got just the women for you then," he said.  "I know a couple of good Russian girls.  You will have to negotiate your terms yourself with them.  I make no warranties, my friends."  Though their accents were as thick as a Tolstoy novel, we were able to negotiate that in addition to being provided the networking opportunity of a life time, we would pay Inga and Olya one-hundred dollars each.  

That evening we anxiously stepped out of the lobby of the reasonably priced hotel, appareled in discount tuxedos from a haberdashery called Proms-R-Us, with Inga and Olya who each had breasts as downy-white and expansive as Siberia.  We stepped into the white stretch, Hummer limousine with ground effects, rented at a distressed rate.  Inside the limo, rolling for The Whitehouse, we explained to Inga and Olya that all they needed to do was smile, not say a word, and to hang on our every adoring word.  I'm not sure they understood half of what we instructed, as Inga twizzled my hair with her long fingers.

Immediately we garnered unwanted attention as we exited our gaudy limousine, but were able to put ourselves in line with the other guests quickly enough that most there were unaware of who arrived in the monstrous thing.  The line was long and moving slowly as the secret service agents at the door thoroughly checked the contents of everyone's pockets, swept them over with a hand-held metal detector, and another checked off a list as the guests passed through another metal detector.

Succumbing to that familiar queasy feeling I always got before the day would end by being tazered, I lent over to The Engineer and angrily whispered, "There is a guest list.  There's a fucking guest list.  We're fucked."  The man in front of us--who looked like a Mediterranean pervert I represented once--with a blond waif on his arm, had overheard me and caught my eye with a nervous smile on his face.  I darted a cold look into his twitching eyes.  Though he never quit smiling, bigger than life, he was shaking with nerves.  I sensed there was nothing but trouble ahead.

"Change of plan then," whispered the Engineer.  "We are not lower level assistants to Ambassadors from Luxembourg.  We are lower level assistants to Ambassadors from Russia.  We have to be able to see the list, while acting like we don't speak English, and point to the first Russian looking name we see." 

Inga stared at the back of the head of the waif-ish woman in the red, silken, exotic dress, while talking what sounded like a barrel of smack in Russian.  I shushed her, but not before the blond waif turned and smiled stupidly at Inga.  Inga whispered in my ear.  "I do not like the coot of her jib," she said.  "There is something nawt correct about that American beetch."  Hushing her again, Inga shot me a proud and fierce look.

With only the waif and the jittery looking Mediterranean guy with the idiotic smile left to go through the metal detectors, what I saw caused all the hope I had left of gaining entrance to drop out my pant legs.  The secret service agent that had formerly been employed by those ingrates at Fox News was standing there with the clip board with the list of guests on it.  As soon as I had recognized him, as if sensing that I was looking right at him, his eyes went straight from the buffoon with the waif and landed square upon my countenance.

"You!" he shouted.  I looked behind me as if the person being addressed was not me.  He dropped the clip board and lunged at The Engineer and me.  The other agents joined in the fray, reaching and tugging at us as Inga and Olya beat them over the head with their purses and cursed them relentlessly in Russian.

The Engineer and I were able to pull apart from the grasping hands of the agents and make just enough space between us to make ourselves easy targets from the tazers that had been drawn and triggered.  The Engineer and I were shot in the chest, and we went down hard, our teeth chattering madly, as we sputtered out something that sounded like, "Gi-di-di-di-di-di-di." 

In all the excitement the agents lost track of the waif and her man as they slipped through the metal detector and into the event, the press's cameras blasting them in a strobe of flashes as they entered, smiling and waiving.  The Engineer and I were picked off the ground, our limbs still twittering with electricity as we were hauled off into custody of The United States of America.

It was bad enough that we spent the next week detained in close proximity of cartel mules, inner-city gangsters, meth-heads in withdrawal and an assortment of other violent offenders.  The only matter being covered in the news was the incident of The Whitehouse party crashers, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, the mad man and his waif wife in the red, silk dress.  It served as a constant reminder of our folly and failed mission.  There was no mention of The Engineer and I since our arrest was a matter of national security and therefore secret.

Otherwise the coverage of the matter was predictably dull.  Who are the Salahi's?  What where they doing there?  How did they get in?  What does their house look like?  What brand of car do they drive?  Whose fault was it that they were able to shake hands with the president and Mrs. Salahi was able to get a photo with the Vice President while fondling his chest?  It went on and on, in a monotonous dribble worse than Chinese water torture, until the announcement came one afternoon.

"This breaking news, just in," announced the perky anchor woman.  "The secret service agent that was in charge of overseeing the guest list at last weeks black tie event at the Whitehouse has been terminated from his duties as an agent for purportedly being derelict in his duties in allowing the now infamous Salahi's to enter the exclusive event, though they were not on the list."  The Engineer and I gave each other a high five and celebrated with an intense game of fish in our homey little cell.

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